Musings on Tourism in Edinburgh.

The interminable bagpipe playing continues unabated as you move from one corner to the other. Some pipers clearly know only one piece. If you stand in the same place long enough you hear them play it again and again. 

National Portrait Gallery

My last stop in Scotland is Edinburgh. I am glad I didn’t come here first,  it would have swayed my opinion of this wonderful place.

The sun is shining down on the people sitting outside one of the authentic Scottish pubs. Authentic, except everyone there is not from Edinburgh. Not even the staff.

Waverly Station

Some of my melancholy may stem from the fact that I fly home tomorrow and my big adventure ends. I think some stems from the fact that this city is in danger of losing itself. Losing itself up the arse of overtourism. I wrote about this in a previous post and here I find myself conflicted again.

St Giles Kirk
National art gallery

I am a tourist.

I am in Edinburgh.

I’m part of the problem. 

There is absolutely no doubt that this is a place to visit. 

The architecture? Sublime! 

The history? Incredibly long and intriguing.

The winding streets and narrow closes (laneways)  a photographer’s delight.

But the people? So many people. Jostling and bustling.

Selfie after selfie. In front of the castle. In front of the Kirk. In front of the shops with the fake wisteria.

Street performance getting ready
Plenty of stairs!

We’ll all have the same photos. I retreated to the Galleries and the breathtakingly magnificent Scottish Museum.

I wish I could have been here 30 years ago. (But with the same digital technology I have now!!) Then,  it would have been truly spectacular!

What do we do? What do we do? There is obviously too much money sloshing around in the collective travel bucket of the world, including my own.  I feel badly for the people who do call this place home. They have lost their city. AirBnB has taken up most the properties nearest the city and people can not find places to live. Their pubs are crowded, their streets noisy. I apologize for the contribution I made.

Next big adventure? Definitely most definitely, has to be in Australia. 

2 thoughts on “Musings on Tourism in Edinburgh.

  1. I visited Edinburgh last week for the first time (during my first visit to Scotland). I noticed the same glut of tourism, at least around the castle and Royal Mile area. Talking to my waitress in the Whiski Bar and Restaurant, she told me that she was the only employee who was native to Edinburgh! Then I ventured westward, to Lothian Road, and discovered a different side to the city. But yes, too many selfies, buses, tourist kitsch. Thanks for going down the road less traveled and being truthful about this spectacular but flawed city.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I wish I had of ventured into the outer city. I had thought I’d find the “real” Edinburgh there. But I must admit I got a bit obese with trying to see the Castle and stuck close to the Old City waiting for a break in the queue

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.